Cleanliness and health while on the road

One of the things about traveling is staying healthy and safe. And specifically we are talking about getting bitten by bugs. Not the ones out in the jungle. But in places where you’d least expect them.

In the past we had written about what is the dirtiest items in your hotel room (here). Two years ago we wrote about bed bugs (here) as one of our first posts. Yeah, that sure wasn’t a popular post, possibly because of the featured picture but probably also because it was among our first posts. Back in the day when we first started we had hardly any readership traffic! Heheh…

Hence it is time for us to revisit this topic, since it seems that these unwanted critters are making a real comeback not just in some parts of the world, but also beginning to be present in places that are quite unexpected – like on planes… We came across this article in the Straits Times recently while troughing through past articles. Darn it got us a little paranoid… not to mention the sudden feeling of itch coming out of nowhere.

Anyway. Now you know what to look out for.

Today with lots of us on the go, it is not just these bugs that get carried around. Viruses and bacteria too are being transported along too. We’ve read what folks pack for a journey for prevention. What do you do to prepare against bugs before getting on your journey?

Waving a stick

Can you imagine a stick being waved in your face as you walk along? Well, that’s the subject of this ban in Milan some months back. And they are not the only city or attraction to roll out this rule – ie no use of a wefie stick. How risky can it be some may ask?

Well. Did you know that India has been cited to be where the highest incident of fatalites occur from the taking of selfies and wefies? If statistics are reliable (and sure take it with a pinch of salt), it is said that almost half of the fatalities worldwide occurred in India. Most of the occurrences were from falling and drowning. And specifically for India there was mention about railway track deaths too. Even Wiki has an article on this. Wonder if it was because of lack of transparency that we don’t get much of data about fatalities in other countries…

Of course some might be curious as to what numbers are we talking about here. And that’s where we come to a grey area. The Boston Globe suggests 127 fatalities over the last several years (kind vague huh?). Does not sound like a lot? Well every life is precious you know.


We wondered what happened to good ole asking a favour from other folks to take a picture. Because that seems safer and it is pleasant to return the favour too. Unless one is intent on taking risky photos – such as the rooftop ones we cited here. Now that one you’ve signed onto a totally different thing because you know the risk.

Does this convince you to swear off taking selfies or wefies now? Or are you guilty of waving a stick in the air too?

Running the gauntlet

Reading this article in the local newspaper a few months back reminded us of what we wrote about participating in local festivals (here). This one though was about the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona, you know the one where folks try to front run raging bulls… But today we are penning a “philosophical” piece and not how to dodge an angry bull (hint wearing red underwear does not work). Heheh.

Really? You inquire.

Yes. Today we are in a serious mood (pss… we are actually in Jerusalem now heheh). We want to remind you that even as you venture into another country and/or culture, it is important to be cognizant of what actions may be construed as disrespectful.

Oftentimes we have heard folks complain while they are on a journey. These gripes can be about the weather, the food, the locals. For goodness sake if this is all that one can think about, then why bother to get there in the first place? Remember we are visiting guests and therefore it is we that have to conscious of local customs + get used to the weather or crowds and food/smell. Not the other way around.

It is thus a sad state of affairs to read of increased cases of bad behaviour on planes, anti-social behaviour at attraction sites, vandalism and so on. And it seems that this is a trend, because simply the number of folks on the road have increased exponentially. You might agree that statistically the probability of occurrence increases with volume…

Being a good traveller helps everyone to have a wonderful experience. What do you think?

P.S: Merry Christmas everyone and have a Silent and Holy night!

Is it safe? Egypt

Today we start a new theme or series of posts. Not the handprint stories. Nor the usual travel topics. We call it the ‘Is it?’ series. What is the intent? Well for one we are a little tired of fake news and media sensationalization. Wow. That’s a long word and we are not sure if it stands up against spell check.

Anyway. The point of this post is to remind you to focus on accurate information. Or at least getting a stab at obtaining some. So today we are focused with Egypt as an example.

And what prompted us to do this post was something we read in our local newspaper a couple of months ago (here). If one reads the chatter on the web, it would appear there is still a lot of reticence to visiting the country. The tourism numbers illustrates the current plight of the industry, which formerly used to contribute more than 11% of the country’s GDP (at height of 2010). Approximately 12% of the workforce was connected in some ways to this industry. It has shrunked significantly since then.

But is the country as unsafe as the media (mainstream or social) portrays it?

Sure. There are places in the country and sections of cities one should be extremely careful about venturing to. However that is applicable to many places around the world, even in the little red dot! Apply some good sense by observing your surroundings plus doing some of your own research we are sure you’d be fine.

We enjoyed our journey to Egypt (read all about it here). And we are sure you will too!

Don’t eat airline food anymore?

Would you listen to a celebrity chef cum reality TV star cum restauranteur? For one thing, the quoted person in this article suggests that he himself will not touch airline food. Apparently from his own wealth of experience working for some of the most prestigious airlines in the world, he knows enough to avoid it.

Does this kind of review(s) influence you?

Now one thing that the above article does not provide are concrete reasons from who we’d refer to as a so-called social influencer. He simply referred to the fact he knows where the airline food has been and how long it took before getting on the plane with the passengers. Which honestly is the same with all pre-cooked meals anyway…so what’s new? It just need to be served and consumed within a certain number of hours when stored at the appropriate temperature and conditions.

You might recall we wrote a little post about gorgeous airline food and shared with you some of those we had the privilege of sampling at 30,000+ feet in the air. At that rarefied air, food taste different than you are back on planet earth we asserted and convinced you (we hope). The meal(s) you have onboard would thus be something you’d likely reject/avoid on a daily basis.

You might also recall yet another post we wrote (here) where we pointed out that the water in the tanks of the planes potentially seethe with undesirables… so take the coffee and tea at your own risk we are told! Stick with bottled and canned drinks we guess. Perhaps that’s the excuse to be sanitized with lots of alcohol, our preferred one’s from Chianti (here). Heheh.

Would a social influencer sway you? Are all of these sufficient to convince you never to take airline meals ever again?

Pilot Language

Payup Bozoo!

That’s part of pilot speak, and nooooo they are not calling someone silly names. According to an article we read. Sure they are said to swear by these 5-letter words…why? You know when you use GPS or Google maps for navigation, you select markers known as waypoints. These are your “milestones” so to speak, that you gain an understanding of where you are and how you are progressing on a journey.

So its the same with navigating the globe in a plane. The independent revealed (read here) some of the most interesting names that the air traffic controllers have given the waypoints. You’d be amazed that there is no convention for the naming and that various situations and local considerations were the key factors! One thing to note though, these navigation waypoints must comprise of 5 letters of the alphabet.icao-waypoints

Sounds like the way the names of typhoons are named. Each year a different country in the Asia Pacific gets to provide names that would be used for each storm that emerges from the ocean. No real convention there too! Oops, we digressed again!

And it seems that more and more it is getting out of vogue. Because with modern GPS technologies it is no longer critical to follow waypoints some airline quoted said. But we aren’t sure about this…what if one airline decides to ditch waypoints and fly direct using GPS while others stick with it? Would that be allowed?

Do you think airlines should ditch waypoints and map direct point-2-point routes?